Goat Starter List

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Goat Starter List via Better Hens and GardensNote: Several readers have requested posts on topics that have already appeared here – this is one of those posts that has been updated and republished.   

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve had Nigerian Dwarf goats for nearly five years. We started with two, and are trying to keep the herd down to a dozen today. I still remember when they first came home, wondering if we’d prepared and had the basics needed for them. 

We’ve been very fortunate and had few instances of serious issues with the goats, and the few times we’ve had issues, we’ve had the supplies to get through. A few times it’s been necessary to get a Vet, but at least we’ve had the supplies available to keep things from becoming a disaster until we could get to the Vet (or the Vet get to us).

So, I highly recommend supplying yourselves before getting goats, and as we were preparing for them, one of my biggest questions was what I should have on hand.  This was the list I used to prepare for Tinkerbell and Honey (some of these things are obvious I know), updated after five years of experience. Note, these are just the basics to consider having for care and maintenance of young does or wethers, there are additional supplies to get for bucks, pregnant or lactating does, and kids.   


  • Veterinarian’s Number – have a Vet lined up (that will visit the farm) before getting goats, then if there’s an emergency, you know where to turn for help 
  • Shelter – they need protection from predators and inclement weather, they can withstand surprisingly cold weather if they’re protected from wind and wet
  • Fencing – it needs to keep them in and predators out (remember they’re escape artists!)
  • Bedding Material – we’ve always used pine shavings
  • Collars – easy to take on and off because you only want the collar on when using the leash (you don’t want to leave the collars on them (or they may hang themselves)) unless using break-away collars
  • Leashes – more than one if you’re getting multiple goats

Feeding and Watering

  • Food Dishes – one for each goat so you can monitor how much each is getting
  • Hay – preferably the same type of hay they were eating at their previous home at least for starters. You should never suddenly change a goats diet or they may bloat and die
  • Hay Bags – to hold the hay, they’ll still waste a lot on the ground
  • Goat Food – again preferably what they were previously eating, at least to start
  • Measuring Cup – to measure how much feed they’re getting
  • Black Sunflower Seeds – top dressing to the goat food to provide vitamin E & Selenium
  • Goat Mineral –  free choice minerals (we use Manna Pro)
  • Baking Soda – offer free choice to help regulate their rumens
  • Calf Mana – top dressing for goat food
  • Goat Treats – to get them moving in the right direction (ours will do almost anything for an animal cracker)
  • Watering Bucket – the Fortiflex brand seems indestructible

Beauty Supplies

  • Clippers (with blades for face and body) – they’ll need clipping when it gets warm
  • Grooming Brush – regular brushing is one way to keep lice away
  • Hoof Trimmers – they may need trimming as frequently as once per month

Health Supplies

  • Goat Nutri-Drench
  • Rectal Thermometer – this is really a must, one of the easiest ways to tell if a goat is sick is to take its temperature
  • Pepto Bismal/Milk of Magnesia
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Baby Aspirin
  • Probios
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Scour Halt
  • Syringes – 3 ml and 6 ml luer locks
  • Needles – 20 and 22 gauge in 3/4″ to 1″ lengths
  • Drencher – for administering drugs/dewormers orally
  • Surgical Scissors
  • Blood stop powder  – you will trim those hooves a little too much  sooner or later, believe me
  • Electrolyte Mix 


  • BoSe – for selenium deficient areas – Rx Prescription
  • Epinephrine – never give a goat an injection without having this ready in case of shock – Rx Prescription
  • CD&T Toxoid –  need vaccination annually
  • Pen G and oxytetracyclene – antibiotics
  • Baycox (Toltrazuril) – for coccidiosis
  • C&D Antitoxin
  • Tetanus Antitoxin
  • Dewormers – Ivermectin, Valbazen, Cydectin
  • Copasure Bolus – for copper deficiency
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